Imitation is the purest form of flattery. To 'swede' a film has become a growing homage among fans since 2008 film, Be Kind Rewind, brought this wonderful craft into a public domain. 'Sweded' film festivals now exist all over the world, and the results of this low-fi, low budget, unauthorised filmmaking style can be found all over the internet.
For anyone not familiar with the term 'sweded,' it refers to the recreation of popular pop-culture films using little to no budget, a camcorder, non-professional actors and no script. The films are essentially produced from memory, but the style has developed to include shot for shot remakes that purposely draw on the cheapness factor.
Searching the term 'sweded' on google will bring up pages upon pages of these fan made films. To help navigate the minefield of the best 'sweded' clips, I've collated ten of my favourite .
9) Jurassic World - Matthew Potter
I would say this Jurassic World trailer remake is one of the more slicker 'sweded' productions out there. Produced by youtuber Matthew Potter, it features an exceptional poor-man's Chris Pratt and garbage bag Raptors, but perhaps a uncanny Byrce Dallas Howard lookalike appears to steal the show.
Best 'sweded' moment: Tomato Sauce.
8) Captain America: The Winter Solider - Will Yeong
Without the great locations Hollywood films feature, 'sweded' films work to use what is available to them. Will Yeong's take on the Winter Soldier trailer utilises counterpart locations that feel bland but jog our memory of the actual film enough to let our imagination fill in the gaps.
Best 'sweded' moment: A female Falcon.
7) The Wolverine - Sweded: The Series
This 'sweded' The Wolverine trailer is from an entire web series of 'sweded' content supported by Machinima. The team behind this have expertly captured the feel and mood of Hugh Jackman's second solo outing, recapturing even the lighting style seen in the film. Another technique included is recreating music and sound effects 'a cappella' or with their mouth only. This is a more traditional approach in line with the original 'sweded' films.
Best 'sweded' moment: Wolverine's healing powers thanks to sticky tape and string.
6) Godzilla - madeLEGITmedia
The definition of 'sweded' can appear to become blurred when filmmakers take the artform to the next level. The team at madeLEGITmedia have worked hard to recreate Gareth Edward's Godzilla trailer. But I can't help be reminded of Japan's earlier Godzilla efforts, with cardboard cityscapes and rubber costumes. This effort could almost be of higher production value then the 1954 original.
Best 'sweded' moment: Godzilla turns through the smoke.
5) The LEGO Movie - Ryan Riffle
How do you 'swede' Lego? Lego recreations of famous movie scenes have probably existed way before Be Kind Rewind was even written, probably even pre-dating the internet. Ryan Riffle's entry into an official Lego movie trailer competition does away with Lego altogether and embraces the cardboardiness of 'sweding.' It's also really fun to see how he has puppetered Lego characters and objects by using cardboard strips. It adds an extra layer of cheapness and a technique quite synonymous with 'sweding.'
Best 'sweded' moment: Cardboard Bat-ship.
4) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Bitchin' Pictures
There will always be love for the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. So there is a hint of jealousy watching the guys from Bitchin Pictures running around in turtle costumes taking on a foil clad Shredder. These guys captured the glorious 90s (pizza) cheesiness and not only pays homage to a great film, but also to the many school yard recreations of the Turtle adventures among friends. 'Sweding' is about creating new memories about things we love, and this trailer qualifies on so many levels.
Best 'sweded' moment: Foil Shredder.
3) Tron - The Establishing Shot
This scene is a reworking of the light cycle sequence from Disney's Tron. Using stop motion animation with toilet rolls and paper, the visuals look to recreate the early CGI technology available in 1982. The time and energy that has gone into this recreation must have come close to same hard work Disney animators would have have put in to to produce the original scene! (There are a few brief behind the scenes moments included at the end of this video).
Best 'sweded' moment: Paper light maze.
2) The Dark Knight - Push It Films
Instead of a trailer, this is a two and half minute retelling of the entire Dark Knight. While there is the usual 'sweded' cardboard moments, much of this stands on the character work, particularly the portrayal of Commissioner Gordon and The Joker. Impressively, a near full size Bat-pod has been constructed using what looks like plastic garden bins.
Best 'sweded' moment: Why so serious? A great 'sweded' Joker.
1) Star Wars: The Force Awakens - Dumb Drum
Dumb Drum have perhaps some of the best produced 'sweded' videos on their YouTube page. Their Age of Ultron trailer is pretty impressive. However considering Star Wars is really on the top of most people's minds recently, I've chosen their Force Awakens teaser. Some great highlights include a speeder as a bicycle and a BB8 droid - even after multiple viewings I am unsure how they pulled it off. I'll be also interested to see if they decide to take on the full theatrical trailer at some point.
Best 'sweded' moment: The Millenium Falcon, even in 'sweded' form, will always give me chills.
What are the best 'sweded' videos you have seen? Share the links to your favourite ones in the comments below!
Daniel Sanguineti is a Australian Film Producer and Writer, who tutors film and media at the University of Canberra and the Canberra Institute of Technology. He is on twitter @DanSanguineti.